Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Among a bunch of army men type figures that have recently come my way were half a dozen Action-Man type chappies I don't know what to do with.  Karen found these, to her amusement.  She took the picture...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Barracks.

One of the problems I've had that has become markedly more acute in the last two or three years is the lack of room properly to store and organise my war games inventory.  When I found a couple of sets of tray stacks, I reckoned I might have found at least partial solution.  The plan was to begin with the most problematic: my Napoleonic armies.
 I've managed to shoehorn almost my entire Austrian Army - 550+ figures - into these three trays.  I've rather gone for compactness, which comes at a price in elegance of arrangement.
 Purple box: Minifigs Grenadiers and 'Tyrolean' Jager, gunners and, to the right, 6pr guns.  The 18-figure unit at upper left are Warrior with helmets, bside which are the plastic contingents: two grenzer battalions (HaT) and the Hessen-Homberg Hussars (Italieri French Hussars painted up as Austrian).  The guns on the left are 12pr pieces scratch-built out of balsa and whatever wheels I could find, using Minifigs French 12pr gun barrels.
 Blue box: Entirely Minifigs foot and horse, barring a small (just 8 figures) unit of chevau-legeres at centre right.  I have no idea what their manufacture is.  There seems to be a plastic mounted officer in there as well, but the rest are also Minifigs.
 Green box: Minifigs horse and Tyrolean' Jager painted up as freikorps jager/ landwehr.  The shako hatted guys in the background are a fairly well known manufacture that I can not identify.  These have been painted up as Hungarian 2nd and 33rd Line, with the 2/33 (Hungarian) Grenadier Battalion Hahn.  In the centre are Warrior Shako hatted Line infantry and grenadiers.   Owing to the limited number of figures in the job lot I bought several years ago now, all three warrior units are below my standard 24-figure strength.  I quite like this feature of my army.  Two of my four Grenadier units are also understrength, as is the freikorps jager. The nearest infantry were rather poorly cast knock-offs that I managed at least partially to rehabilitate.  I don't know for sure, but the logo I found on some of the bases suggests the originals might have been Hinton Hunt. At that, they were supposed to be Bavarian, but I painted them up as Austrian.

 Looking along the line...  There are a few works in progress to be found among them (especially the second of my dragoon regiments), and as I still have to find accommodation for 4 more guns, I may have to overflow into a fourth box.

Below are the assorted boxes that have housed my French and Austrian armies until the last day or so.
 And here, in a rather larger box - tray - my British army, all 200-odd figures accommodated in the one.
 Most of my French horse: 3 Cuirassier, 2 Lancer, 3 Dragoon and 2 Chasseur regiments of 12 figures apiece.  The Chasseurs and one Dragoon Regiment are Hotspur, the Lancers are two different manufacturers, neither of which I can identify, and the rest are Minifigs.

 The trays in this stack are about 25-30% wider than the coloured ones.  I did have my Austrians with this lot as well, but the whole ensemble was in my view too heavy for sensible portability.  Hence the shift.  The upper boxes will house lighter figures or vehicles.  It has to be admitted, the horses make this box sag rather alarmingly...
The bottom 3 trays, French foot, guns, and the two Hussar units, and somewhere in there is an orphaned 4-figure squadron of Hinchliffe Cuirassiers.  Manufactures vary: Minifigs, Front Rank, some figures that I suspect were pirated knock-offs of Minifig infantry (with their heads turned to the left by way of a pretence at originality), and others of unknown provenance (though by the style, likely the same as my Hungarian Line).  My French Army is somewhere in the region of 720-strong.
The top tray contains my entire Brunswick Corps (58 figures), and an assortment of artillery limbers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Army Men Project (continuing)

In recent days, I have made some strides towards getting armies into being in my Army Men (a.k.a. Jono's World) project.
 You will recall - if you have read this blog spot before - my piece on the 'Good Ol' USA' vs 'Red Commies' a couple of weeks back.  In view of present unfortunate and unhappy events unfolding in the Ukraine and environs, that might not have been in the best of taste, as it transpires.  But here you see their fate; amalgamated, together with some WW2 Japanese figures, into a company of Omez Auxiliaries in the service of the Raesharn Empire.  A couple of unpainted or semi-painted figures you might see have slipped through the cracks.  Once they are absorbed, the unit will comprise 3 rifle Squads plus HQ Squad - a total of 43 figures.  
 Below are several tanks, vehicles and guns sporting the new Raesharn camouflage livery.
 The effect is startling to say the least, but fairly attractive, I find. Leading is a Type 48 Heavy Tank (Patton) together with a pair of Type 41M Medium Tanks (The bigger Centurions).  The second row comprises a pair of field guns, a jeep, a heavy gun/howitzer, and a super-sized jeep that, with the addition of a tilt, will become an artillery tractor.
 The rear row is made up of 3 troop transport vehicles, an HQ Comms vehicle, and a tanker (logistic support).

The Comms vehicle is missing not only a rear wheel (hence it is leaning against the truck beside it), but also an axle or lug for it to hang on.  Some tall modification will be required.  Brian gave me a link to some ideas in that direction (thanks, Brian). 
 The camo on the tanker could stand some touching up, but the slightly worn look doesn't look out of place...
 When I received a parcel from Paul Foster, I was very pleased to see what I took to be additions to my field artillery park.  But I took on board several suggestions that with the addition of a gun shield, they would make fine Anti-tank guns.
 I'm inclined to agree!  The left hand pair (as you see them) for a battery in Kiivar service, as shown by Kiivar's characteristic style of camouflage. The farther Kiivar gun has just the one wheel - the other is still forming the filter of the nozzle fitting of a balsamic vinegar bottle. 
 The right hand (unpainted) pair will enter Raesharn service.  They haven't yet been properly assembled.   The wheels on one of the is from the circular centre of a sprue for War of the Spanish Succession plastic soldiers (Wargames Factory).  As this is a fairly prolific source of such wheels, they could just about supply all these guns.
 As it happened, only one of the 6 guns had wheels, but two were also missing the part of the right hand end of the axle where a wheel would have fitted.  As a pair of trucks was also lacking tilts, it wasn't to much of a leap of the imagination to check out these pairings: a couple of portee-mount anti-tank guns.  Sucyh a marriage will save a fair bit of time and effort supplying the wheel deficiencies...
 They can be mounted firing over the cab, but I prefer the rear-ward mounting.  Quite a dramatic looking piece of mobile ordnance.

 They probably won't be glued on, leaving the options open for unloading for dismounted action.
This may not be a permanent arrangement, but can be an acceptable  interim measure whilst I complete more urgent tasks...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A plug o' plew of Padre Madness.

The Mad Padre's Wargames Page
I think what first attracted me to the blogspot Mad Padre Wargames (link below) was the maniac grin of the obviously militant ecclesiatic looking dude pictured in the banner.  This was the grin of one righteously smiting for the right, secure in the knowledge of violating none of the Ten Commandments - not the Sixth, nor yet the Fifth, Seventh, or any other.  This is the smile of one who finds joy in doing the Lord's Work.  Oh, yeah - he's shooting at zombies, I believe.  Hence no worries so far as the Sixth Commandment is concerned.

How could I, not overfond of resisting temptation, possibly resist?  I have ever since been a frequent visitor to this site, and recommend it highly for entertainment and it variety of topics in the war gaming line.

If there is one topic I would like to see more of, it is the adventures of 'S' Commando.  It was one such that led to my 'penning' the following verse.  The pictures are from 'Mad Mike's' blog spot, and the character names are also his.  The versification, , inspired by them, is mine.

A Cryptic Encounter in the Crypt

Sam 'Snuffy' Snape stood only to gape
As Vampirella the Vamp appeared.

Though knocking knees and blood like to freeze,

He wasn't really skeered.

For Padre Tris' Mercer, that practised curser (sorry)

Stood forth with his Cross revealed;

He felt few alarms at the lady's charms

Protected by such a shield.

'Back, fiend!' he cried, as in earnest he tried

To make her disappear.
'Seriously?' she said, the lady in red:

'What have you to fear?'

Captain 'Dicky' Byrd, the moment he heard

The question wondered anew.

It appeared to him in this dungeon grim

Something seemed askew.

In this unholy place, could such a face

Disguise the Father of Lies?

Could ruby lips and fulsome hips

Belong to the Lord of the Flies?

'I fear that your booty will distract from our dooty,'

The diligent Byrd replied.

'We do not have leisure to gather up treasure,

Nor from our purpose to step aside.'

''So lay on no jinx, don't ask us for drinks;

'We will depart now and leave you in peace.

'It's not that we fear you or want not to be near you:

'It's just that you look like my niece!'

Mike, I hope this posting does its bit to hasten your blog on its way to a further 100,000 hits.  Well done.
Here's the link:  Check it out..

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Good ol' USA vs Red COMMIES"

Among a haul of Army Men type soldiery I was given late last year was a pack under the banner of this posting's title.  You might recollect the pic from my posting at that time. You would think, wouldn't you, that the Cold War having been more or less over the last 20 years and more, this sort of thing might have limited appeal.  But who knows?   
 Perhaps the epithet 'Commy' has lost its sting.  A glance at the central small print in the above picture reveals the irony: made in China for a 'Good Ol' USA' company based in Seattle. 

 This appealed to my sense of humour so much that I was inclined - as I had plenty of other soldiery to work with - to leave this 'mint in pack.'   Yesterday I overcame that temptation and opened it: one flag and 10 soldiers in each compartment.  Struck by the bold, in-your-face scarletry of the presumably 'Red Commies', I hoiked them out of the bag first.   
What emerged were 2 bazooka guys, 2 'about-to-stick-a-bayonet-in-someone's-liver' guys, 2 flamethrower guys, 1 guy prone shooting, 1 other guy prone, not shooting, 1 guy calling for take-out, 1 guy looking for his lost keys.  I admit, I got those last descriptors from here, The 5 Suckiest Army Men, but of course, these last 2 guys are very useful in building up something that resembles an army.  From my point of view - a handy bunch of dudes, though what a 7-year-old would think is a whole other question.  I admit to finding flamethrowers a bit problematical, though.  It's a horror weapon - as one might well guess when it has been observed that few operators of such weapons become POW.
Then out with the green guys:

Here the selection is quite different.   You get your 2 bazooka dudes,  3 green fellows crawling about for the 1 red guy, and 2 kneeling firing.  The final three chappies are really handy: 2 light machine gun guys, and a light mortar guy.  Considering this pack is supposed to be of opposing sides, they complement each other quite well.

The observant reader might recognise the style of Army Men as that being used (apart from the colours) by Tim Gow's Cold Wars play test.  I'll be keeping the bipods on my LMGs though.  
 As these figures are too few to represent anything independent, I'll be merging them and several other figures into a company of Omez allies of Raesharn.  The whole group below is just 41 figures all up - rather a smallish company by 'Jono's World' standards, but this will be a fairly well equipped one.
Meanwhile, there are these bunch of British Commonwealth and Australian (?) figures - about 50 of them. 
Distinctive as they are from my other figures, they are likely to be pressed into Saabian service as allies of Kiivar.  A trifle over officered, and, judging by the number of (Antipodean)  radio-operator guys, the local catering services are a bit stretched, I am pleased to see at least 2 LMG (Bren) and a MMG (Vickers - Whispering Death).    I may have to add the odd piece of equipment, such as a mortar and maybe one or two anti-tank rifles or launchers...